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WEATHER: hot and humid mid 30’s all day.

Everything went smoothly as we checked out of the Senegambia Hotel at 7:30am. We boarded our bus and after some messing around looking for an ice-shop for the cooler, we finally set off for Tendaba Camp.

It was around 10 am when we pulled into the car park at Farasuto Forest Reserve, we had seen dark-chanting Goshawk along the way. At the gates were met by a local guide and we set off on a forest trail. We were quickly tracking down a couple of species, the best of which was a Grey-headed bristlebill, after some patience we finally got it into the scope for all to see.

Grasshopper Buzzard - by Tony Moore

Farasuto Forest trail

The track led us to some pools where we search for White-backed Night heron without finding one, we did see a Striated Heron and a few Senegal Thick-knee. We heard Common Gonolek, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat and few other species before laving the forest and taking another track from just outside the gates.

Spotted Honeyguide - by Tony Moore

The local guide led us directly to a pair of roosting Greyish Eagle-Owls. They showed extremely well and we left them in peace. We then drove on for an hour or so and came to a regular stopping place for lunch. It was a small wetland area where in the past many raptors were seen coming down to drink.

Greyish Eagle Owl

During lunch Modou shouted out several species including Bateleur, White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture, an Osprey, two or three Harrier-Hawks, Booted Eagle and lots of Yellow-billed Kites. After we had eaten our picnic lunch we walked across the road to a track that us to a sheltered area with views over the marsh. We stayed for an hour or so and found several more raptors and a few other interesting species.

Levaillant's Cuckoo

Two Lizard Buzzards perched fairly close to us, a Shikra circled in the distance and more Harrier-Hawks appeared. We also saw a very obliging Levaillant’s Cuckoo, some European and Blue-cheeked bee-eaters, several egret species and some Purple Glossy Starlings.

adult Harris-Hawk - by Tony Moore

Back at the bus we watched the sky for a while, Modou found us a Wahlberg’s Eagle, a few Mottled Spinetails and more Harrier-Hawks.

We set off for the last leg of our journey, stopping now and then to look at roadside birds, we added Grasshopper Buzzard to the list and also Abyssinian Roller, a second Bateleur and a Marsh Harrier. Another stop on the approached road to Tendaba Camp found us watching 3 Yellow-crowned Gonoleks in one bush!

Muggar Crocodile - taken by Tony Moore

We checked into our rooms at Tendaba at 4:30pm and by 5:15pm we were back on the bus heading back along the road to the non-existent Tendaba Airfield. I guess once upon a time an airfield was going to be built but I think it never was nor never will it be!

Pink-backed Pelican and an African Grey Hornbill for size comparison

It was fairly quiet out there, not many waders or egrets on the large tidal pools. We did see Greenshank, Grey Plover, Senegal Thick-knee, Gull-billed Terns, Black-winged Stilts, a few Yellow Wagtails, a Pink-backed Pelican and some egrets.

Fly-over birds included Senegal Parrot, Purple Glossy and Long-tailed Glossy Starlings and lots of common species. We got back to the Camp in time to get ready for dinner, the facilities are far from luxurious but just adequate enough to wash and change for dinner. The food wasn’t too bad and the semi-chilled beer went down a treat.